Former Vice President Joe Biden must believe he is safely in the lead against President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, as his campaign took the day off on Sept. 24 with no appearances by either Biden or his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) — the ninth such break this month alone.
Does Biden think he can win without aggressively campaigning?
Biden could be making the same mistake Hillary Clinton made in 2016, when a complacent Democratic machine watched Trump shock the world by winning in the Rust Belt state of Michigan — where Trafalgar Group shows President Trump still leading Biden in its latest poll conducted Sept. 20-Sept. 22, 46.7 percent to 46 percent.
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Trafalgar chief pollster Robert Cahaly called it a “razor thin Trump lead” in the state in a tweet, with the first presidential debate still ahead on Sept. 29.
Meanwhile, in Florida, the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted Sept. 15-Sept. 20, finds President Trump has jumped to a four-point lead among likely voters, 51 percent to 47 percent, with the President getting a major boost on the economy.
In the ABC News/Washington Post poll in Florida, Trump leads Biden on trust on handling the economy, 52 percent to 41 percent.
Which, is little wonder with labor markets recovering so rapidly from their April lows amid the COVID-19 state-led lockdowns — a record 13.8 million jobs have been recovered since then according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey.
And in the past month, the Department of Labor reports an unadjusted 1.5 million more Americans have come off of unemployment benefits, which will most certainly show another huge jobs gain in the employment report due out the first week of October — the last such monthly report before the election.
As the data continues to pour in, President Trump will have a compelling story to tell about how his administration fought to save lives in the pandemic, and now is moving to successfully and safely reopen the economy.
In the meantime, Rasmussen Reports’ latest daily presidential tracking poll shows President Trump with a 52 percent approval rating — with the past month showing the highest ratings of his presidency coming out of the party nominating conventions.
Adding to Democratic apprehension about Florida, the Republican Party is experiencing a surge in voter registration with a record 58,000 newly registered voters in the state in the month of August alone — reducing the Democrats’ traditional registration advantage. The secret to the campaign’s success? Door-knocking. While Democrats continue to run a virtual campaign fearful of the pandemic, Republicans are depending on in-person tactics and showing real success with its voter registration uptick.
That’s called momentum.
Taken together with the strong showing by the incumbent in daily tracking and the rapidly recovering economy, the battleground state polls in Florida and Michigan have got to be worrying for the Biden campaign.
It calls into question the risky strategy of the Biden campaign of locking up their candidate, cutting down the number of appearances and riskiest of all, depending on mail-in balloting to get over the top. Turnout could be a real problem for the challenger.
A couple months ago the Biden campaign was assured by national polls it was leading by double digits and coasting to an easy victory in November, not unlike in 2016, when the Clinton campaign assumed it was safely ahead.
So much for that. Now Biden appears to be trailing in the crucial states of Florida and Michigan with more than a month to go.
Here, the President’s reelection campaign is showing not only resilience, but dominance, as the energetic Trump steps up his campaign appearances, bringing his case for four more years to the American people.
Now, as the nation’s attention turns toward the debates, the question will be whether Biden can build enthusiasm for his campaign — or remind the country why he’s been hiding in his basement this whole time.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government
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